2023-2024 / ARCH1109-1

Living - origins and contemporary issues


40h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in architecture5 crédits 


Julie Neuwels, David Tieleman


David Tieleman

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Starting from the production of architecture, the course discusses what it means to "inhabit" by mobilizing different fields related to the human sciences. It exposes and explains various approaches and dimensions of inhabiting and their implications for the practice of architecture, both from a sociological point of view and from a scientific and technical point of view. It thus aims to put into perspective and question the fabric of housing and ways of living with regard to the social, economic, environmental and technical context, issues and related debates. What is a house, a home, a home, a household, comfort ...? This is to show how these notions fluctuate over time, space and culture. It is also a question of addressing the appearance of new forms of socialization, mobility, techniques, energy culture as well as new lifestyles, leading to the modification and / or questioning of our relationship to space, in a networked, globalized, hyperconnected, technical society, and confronted with major environmental and social challenges. The content of the course thus meets the 4 transversal axes of training in architecture: Digital, Art, Society and Sustainability.

Course summary given as an indication (may be subject to change):

- module 1: introduction

- module 2: territorial behavior and conduct

- module 3: the interaction space

- module 4: space and people

- module 5: inhabiting the territory (1) 19th century

- module 6: inhabiting the territory (2) contemporary era

- module 7: space and society

- module 8: accommodation and comfort

- module 9: summary and challenges (1) social component

- module 10: summary and challenges (2) environment component

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

In the context of a first semester, this course pursues two main learning objectives. On the one hand, it provides an overview of the different ways of conceiving and understanding the notion of "inhabiting" (buildings and territory). It mainly develops aspects related to (1) instructing an architectural question in understanding the link between humans and lived space, and (2) interacting with all the actors, in highlighting the different actors and issues related to spatial planning. At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the different basic concepts seen in the course;
  • To understand inhabiting in its multiple dimensions and to reconstruct its historical, cultural and technical trajectories;
  • To build a relevant argument on the complexity of the links between inhabited space and society;
  • Understand and explain the roles and implications of science and technology in architecture;
  • To understand and monopolize different concepts / theories seen in class, to make an architectural question, complex by nature, clearer or intelligible;
  • To problematize the situations which arise to him as a future architect in the light of the concepts approached during the course.
On the second hand, the course aims to stabilize basic concepts useful for understanding the subjects taught throughout architectural training. More specifically, it introduces content from the following courses:

  • Territory 1 - Environment, contemporary issues
  • Territory 3 - Theory and project of urban space
  • Philosophy and aesthetics of architecture
  • Sociology of space and urban sociology
  • Building technology 3 - Hygrothermal, respiratory, visual and acoustic comfort
  • Building technology 6 - Completions and socio-technical issues
The course can also help to formulate a spatial response in the context of project workshops. In B1 on aspects relating to uses and space and proxemics, in B2 on aspects relating to the domestic sphere and the concept of habitat, and in B3 on taking into account the context and energy issues.  

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A good command of the French language, spoken and written.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

* 10 sessions of theoretical lessons of 4 hours face-to-face; * Interaction during the course (wooclap, etc.); * Reading and comprehension of texts, listening and comprehension of online conferences in preparation for certain sessions, in a reverse class logic; * Assignments and tests to be submitted at each online session on e-campus according to the terms and deadlines indicated by the teachers.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Readings and various sources, as well as presentation slides, are provided during each course session, at the latest one hour before the start of the session. They are posted on e-campus. The texts to be read or the lectures to be listened to in preparation for certain sessions are transmitted one week in advance. They are available online on e-campus. 

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Assessment is by an open book written examination. The questions are of two types: closed questions (true-false, MCQ, etc.) and open questions combining restitution and understanding in the form of short or long answers Assessment focuses on understanding and the ability to cross-reference course content.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course





Association of one or more MOOCs